"Richard Upton Pickman, the greatest artist I have ever known and the foulest being that ever leaped the bounds of life into the pits of myth and madness"
Pickman, painter of grotesque masterpieces too horrible to imagine, disappears without a trace. His last friend among the living recounts their fateful trip to Pickman's secret studio in Bostonâs run-down North End.
In his classic tale "Pickman's Model", grand master and grandfather of the modern horror-tale H.P. Lovecraft let his characters delve into the darkest nature of weird art.
Though faithful to both Lovecraft's text and spirit, cartoonist Kim Holm's art argues for a vastly different take on horrific art. In grim brush-strokes and ink-spatters, the art dissolves from cartoony realism into nightmarish expressionism as Pickman leads the unknowing art-lover down into his cellar studio, down into the depths of horror.
Written by H.P. Lovecraft in 1926, adapted and illustrated by Kim Holm. Cover by Robert Høyem. Buy it from the artist at: http://indyplanet.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7723
Written by H.P. Lovecraft, adapted and illustrated by Kim Holm. Cover by Robert Høyem.
August 30, 2012 Subject:
Nice adaptation faithful to the original
I was sent an advanced copy of this work for review, but I don't know Kim Holm personally, nor have I to my knowledge come in contact with his work before.
I know the story Pickman's Model very well, having read it a bunch of times over the years. I have also read "sequels" or "tie-ins" written by other authors. But I think that this is the first time I have seen it in graphic form. As so many of Lovecrafts stories it is the confession of our protagonist, finally telling someone the whole truth about what happened years ago. I wondered how something so one-directional would translate to the comic medium. But after the first couple of pages I was completely drawn in. Holm is a splendid artist, with a keen eye for details.
The first part of the story is "just" our protagonist telling his story, and the art is rather calm, I felt. But after a little while we get to see our antagonist, and he is given a voice. The art here turns more intimidating.
Holm uses light and darkness to chisel out the features of men and surroundings alike. He works almost exlusively in stark contrasts, even more so as we near the climax of our story. Here the art goes almost in to the realm of the abstract.
I liked this adaptation of the source material. I feel that the essence of the story is here. It is presented with the respect it deserves, while at the same time it has been slightly modified to suit this medium. I very much appreciate that Holm kept to the "hint, don't show"-attitude of Lovecrafts work, rather than fall into the trap of showing everything just because this is a visual medium. The artwork is stunning and at times disturbing. The lettering is clear and easy to read. If I had found this while browsing at my local comic book shop I would probably have picked it up just from the title and the looks of it. I can absolutely recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Lovecrafts work, or just likes their comics dark and disturbing. And if Kim Holm does any more Lovecraft adaptations, I'll make sure to get my hands on them.